Massachusetts counts two among Orlando dead

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BOSTON – After the massacre of 49 people at a gay club in Orlando, Florida, early Sunday, Bostonians gathered in solidarity to mourn the victims, including 53 wounded in what has been described as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Hundreds of people – many from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community – attended multiple quickly organized vigils Sunday, including one on Copley Square outside Trinity Church, WBZ-TV reported, and a smaller gathering on Boston Common earlier in the day. Other memorials occurred spontaneously during previously planned events celebrating LGBT culture in Boston.

At City Hall Plaza, Mayor Marty Walsh planned to host a vigil at around 6 p.m. Monday.

Omar Mateen, 29, an American Muslim from Fort Pierce, Florida, pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State in a 911 phone call before killing patrons in the Pulse Orlando club. He also made reference to the Tsarnaev brothers who committed the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, the Massachusetts State Police said in a statement released Sunday.

Two of the 49 dead were former Massachusetts residents, reported, and a survivor. One, KJ Morris, 37, a dancer and drag performer, was working Saturday night as a Pulse bouncer when Mateen approached the club. Morris had strong ties to the LGBT community in Western Massachusetts, the website reported.

Stanley Manolo Almodovar III, also identified as among the dead, came from Springfield, Massachusetts, according to his Facebook page. He graduated from a Clermont, Florida, high school, according to the Orlando Sentinel, but his Facebook page says that he also attended Springfield’s Lincoln Elementary School.

Five of the 29 victims still hospitalized are in “grave condition,” according to Orlando Health officials.